The Controversy Surrounding Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning’s Online Pass
Late last week, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning fans got a rude awakening. Much to some fans dismay, the game’s publisher, EA, would be shipping an online pass with Reckoning. Seeing as how Reckoning is strictly a single-player game that only needs to access the internet when a patch, or DLC needs to be downloaded, many fans were shocked and disgusted that EA, and BigHugeGames, would do this. EA announced that unless you purchased this game new, your Mass Effect tie-in items would be locked out, and you would have to pay an undisclosed price for Reckoning’s day-one DLC that adds the “House of Valor” quest line which is composed of seven new quests.
Fans quickly took to the Reckoning forums, expressing their outrage over the fact that not only would there be day 1 DLC, but that it would be locked out to those that didn’t purchase a new copy. It wasn’t long before 38 Studios Community Manager, Muse, attempted to take hold of the situation. Muse stated that
“”The House of Valor content was not in the finished game/disc at one point, then removed. It isn’t there and we’re locking you out of it. The House of Valor was created as stand-alone content, and was always intended to be the first DLC. Instead of holding onto it and charging for it later, we opted to give it to everyone who purchases the game new, for free, on launch day.”
While this statement, and 38 Studios CEO Curt Schilling’s reassurance that this was to “reward fans and gamers”, was enough to quiet the outcries of most fans, some still feel that they are entitled to the DLC. However, what those fans don’t understand is that that DLC, was originally supposed to be released in March, not alongside Reckoning and thus was not included in the master copy of Reckoning. This means that “The House of Valor” quest line isn’t on any of the discs out there because it was completed after the master copy was sent to EA to begin publishing. BigHugeGames’ decision to not only release the content as day 1 DLC because of it’s early completion, but also making it free to those that purchase the game new should be seen as a reward, and not a travesty.
While EA’s decision to gate the Mass Effect tie-in weapons behind their online pass is rather aggravating, those items are additional content that in no way, shape, or form, has any affect on the way the storyline plays out. If you decide to purchase this game without the online pass, you will still get the full experience that Reckoning has to offer, just without the additional weapons or “House of Valor” quests.
Now while some may believe that not purchasing Reckoning as a method of getting back at EA will hurt them, thus resulting in a change in their online pass strategy, you’re wrong. The only people you’re hurting if you choose not to buy Reckoning are the staff at 38 Studios, and BigHugeGames. Both studios have gone through a lot to get this game going and completed, going as far as working 7 days a week to make sure this game is up to snuff. So to those that have chosen not to purchase Reckoning solely based on the fact that it has an online pass, I ask you to reconsider your choice.